The Red Tide Of Oman  

In the early part of 2009 there was a big scare in Oman called the red tide scare. It was first noticed when large numbers of dead fishes were found washed out on the beaches.

This continued for a number of days, during which lot of rumors did the rounds. Soon, marine experts were called in and they diagnosed the problem.It turned out that the problem was due to a harmful algal bloom. This was a natural phenomenon, seen not only in Oman but in UAE and Iran as well. It occurs every year and goes largely unnoticed. But, that year the phenomenon lasted for a much longer period and adversely impacted the economy.

The economic losses were estimated to be in millions of dollars, in terms of tourism and fishing industry revenues.

The beaches of Oman attract many tourists from across the world. But, the foul stench and the color of the water prevented the tourists from coming. Moreover, the algal bloom caused irritation to the skin.

Fishing is a big industry in Oman and it was affected as consumers refused to eat fish contaminated by the red tide. It only picked up after the Ministry of Fisheries issued an advisory stating that it was safe to eat the fish. Refineries were also affected as they required large quantity of water for cooling. And since the water was contaminated with the seaweed and algae, it was unfit for use in the refineries. So, they had to shut them down.

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The Red Tide Of Oman




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